Saturday, January 5, 2013

Guns, Equality, A Land Where "Thieves Rule The Night," & An Insane NYT "News Analysis" (Updated)

There is an old saying, God created man, Samuel Colt made them equal.

We saw the exercise in equality play out in the news just the other night when an intruder broke in on a woman and her two young children. They tried to hide from him in an attic crawl space. He sought them out. The woman had a .38 caliber revolver that she emptied into him, then escaped unharmed with her children. In another story in the news, a young woman in India and her boyfriend were on a bus, unarmed, when they were attacked by several men. The men beat the boyfriend, then gang raped and disemboweled the woman.

[Update: This from Instapundit - GOOD: Delhi Gang-Rape: Indian Women Stocking Up On Guns For Protection. God created man and woman. Col. Colt made them equal.]

Those are anecdotes. So what happens on a meta-scale when a nation is disarmed, and people are unequal to the criminal element? For that, we can compare the U.S. and the U.K.

In the U.K., gun ownership is virtually banned. Even the police force in the U.K. is, for the most part, unarmed. Raw figures show that the UK has a lower homicide rate than the U.S., 1.2 per 100,000 of population in the U.K. versus 4.8 in the U.S. But when it comes to violent crime overall, the UK is a much greater hotbed than the U.S., with 2,034 violent criminal incidents in the U.K. per 100,000 of population versus 486 in the U.S. An anecdote from a British police officer gives a chilling feel for the ramifications of a disarmed society - where the criminals are very often more powerful at the point of the crime than either the citizens or the police. This from the Police Inspector Blog:

An ATM raid is where a gang steals a digger, a flatbed truck and some old 4X4 vehicles. They then drive in convoy, at night, to an isolated bank or other ATM site, use the digger to smash the ATM out of the wall, load it on to the flatbed and ‘make off’ to a dump site.

At the dump site, which will be a field or a clearing in a wood somewhere, the kind of place they also use to burn the metal out of stolen cable, the ‘engineer’ will be waiting in another 4X4, ready to cut the ATM open and release the cash. The cash is then divided and the gang abandon all but the getaway vehicles and run for home.

This is a high value business. Some ATM’s have up to £1/4 million inside if they are ‘hit’ at the right time. Every county police officer knows where I am coming from with this. Here is the bad bit for us.

If an insomniac wandering about in the early hours sees such a raid and calls it in, we have to respond. When we eventually arrive, single crewed or if we are lucky, double crewed, if the offenders are still there or if we come across the convoy ‘making off’ we can expect to be met with extreme violence by at least eight hardened criminals. They are better armed than us and will ram our family saloon cars off the road in an instant.

If police officers are caught in the open they will be met with baseball bats, iron bars and firearms. They will also be heavily outnumbered. Even if we manage to get one of the counties very few police dogs to respond, the dogs can be stabbed or shot and the handlers beaten half to death. This has happened in Ruralshire. With our tiny numbers of police available for such a huge county, our pathetically underpowered vehicles and our uniquely unarmed status, the thieves rule this county at night now, not us.

It would seem that disarming the populace has the effect of making them game animals for the predators. And the same holds true for the police. It has the point of making the law abiding citizens unequal when it counts most, when their lives and liberty are on the line.

Equality is perhaps the greatest good - so the progs assure us. They demand equality for women, for minorities, some even for flora and fauna. You have to wonder why these calls for equality end completely when it comes to the ability of the average law abiding person to protect their lives and liberty?

Update: As we prepare for the upcoming Obama push to limit the availability of guns to law abiding Americans, the NYT continues their daily rhetorical support for such measure with a "news analysis" piece, More Guns = More Killing. Even for the wildly partisan NYT, this one should win an award for its over the top and under sourced claims.

The NYT notes that the NRA solution to Sandy Hook style massacres is to expand legal gun ownership among the law abiding and to put armed individuals in our schools. The Times then tries to make the point that more guns just means more killing by using the examples of Latin American countries, all with unstable governments, poor economies, many with massive problems of narco-terrorism, and several with left wing insurgencies, such as FARC. They are not quite relevant comparisons to the U.S..

The NYT also relies heavily on quotes from David Hemenway, director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center. He makes the remarkable claim that “[t]here is no evidence that having more guns reduces crime. None at all.”

The NYT let's that statement stand, apparently unable to find anyone around their water cooler who might contest it. To assist the NYT on this, let's point out that one who would contest it would be professor and author John Lott, who has studied the correlation between gun ownership and violent crime and written extensively on the topic. This from an interview with Prof. Lott:

There is a strong negative relationship between the number of law-abiding citizens with permits and the crime rate—as more people obtain permits there is a greater decline in violent crime rates. For each additional year that a concealed handgun law is in effect the murder rate declines by 3 percent, rape by 2 percent, and robberies by over 2 percent.

Concealed handgun laws reduce violent crime for two reasons. First, they reduce the number of attempted crimes because criminals are uncertain which potential victims can defend themselves. Second, victims who have guns are in a much better position to defend themselves.

Question: What is the basis for these numbers?

Lott: The analysis is based on data for all 3,054 counties in the United States during 18 years from 1977 to 1994.

Question: Your argument about criminals and deterrence doesn’t tell the whole story. Don’t statistics show that most people are killed by someone they know?

Lott: You are referring to the often-cited statistic that 58 percent of murder victims are killed by either relatives or acquaintances. However, what most people don’t understand is that this “acquaintance murder” number also includes gang members killing other gang members, drug buyers killing drug pushers, cabdrivers killed by customers they picked up for the first time, prostitutes and their clients, and so on. “Acquaintance” covers a wide range of relationships. The vast majority of murders are not committed by previously law-abiding citizens. Ninety percent of adult murderers have had criminal records as adults.

Question: But how about children? In March of this year [1998] four children and a teacher were killed by two school boys in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Won’t tragedies like this increase if more people are allowed to carry guns? Shouldn’t this be taken into consideration before making gun ownership laws more lenient?

Lott: The horrific shooting in Arkansas occurred in one of the few places where having guns was already illegal. These laws risk creating situations in which the good guys cannot defend themselves from the bad ones. I have studied multiple victim public shootings in the United States from 1977 to 1995. These were incidents in which at least two or more people were killed and or injured in a public place; in order to focus on the type of shooting seen in Arkansas, shootings that were the byproduct of another crime, such as robbery, were excluded. The effect of “shall-issue” laws on these crimes has been dramatic. When states passed these laws, the number of multiple-victim shootings declined by 84 percent. Deaths from these shootings plummeted on average by 90 percent, and injuries by 82 percent. . . .

Question: Violence is often directed at women. Won’t more guns put more women at risk?

Lott: Murder rates decline when either more women or more men carry concealed handguns, but a gun represents a much larger change in a woman’s ability to defend herself than it does for a man. An additional woman carrying a concealed handgun reduces the murder rate for women by about 3 to 4 times more than an additional man carrying a concealed handgun reduces the murder rate for men.

The NYT brings up Australia as proof that gun bans are effective.

After a gruesome mass murder in 1996 provoked public outrage, Australia enacted stricter gun laws, including a 28-day waiting period before purchase and a ban on semiautomatic weapons. Before then, Australia had averaged one mass shooting a year. Since, rates of both homicide and suicide have dropped 50 percent, and there have been no mass killings, said Ms. Peters, who lobbied for the legislation.

They don't quite tell the whole story. The homicide rate in Australia, low in 1996 at 1.9, increased in the three years after their gun ban before dropping to 1.3 in 2007. Regardless, overall, violent crime in Australia has exploded since gun control was imposed, with the sum of violent crime, including sexual assaults, robberies and assaults, increasing about 20% in just 12 years.

In comparison, the violent crime rate in the U.S. has fallen precipitously in the same time frame:

Indeed, it would seem Australia is going through much the same experience as Britain, with a fairly low homicide rate, but a disarmed populace increasingly suffering at the hands of violent criminals who hold the upper hand at the point of their crimes. When "thieves rule this country at night," that is not a society in which I would like to live. Nor would most of the NYT's employees, I would imagine, were the violence ever to be directed into their fantasy world.

Back to the article. The NYT writes:

“To put people with guns who are not accountable or trained in places where there are lots of innocent people is just dangerous,” Ms. Peters said, noting that lethal force is used to deter minor crimes like shoplifting. . . .

There are a number of responses to this. The NYT provides zero facts to justify Ms. Peters bald assertion. According to Dr. Lott, statistically, the degree at which civilians with gun permits criminally misuse their weapons is very low, and indeed, no higher or lower than that level of misuse among trained police officers. Moreover, according to at least one retired LAPD detective, it is quite likely that gun permit holders are actually more experienced with their weapons than the average police officer. This bald claim by Ms. Peters is just pure arrogance combined with a mistrust of the unwashed masses.

Lastly, there is this gem from the NYT.

“If you’re living in a ‘Mad Max’ world, where criminals have free rein and there’s no government to stop them, then I’d want to be armed,” said Dr. Hemenway of Harvard. “But we’re not in that circumstance. We’re a developed, stable country.”

The canard in Dr. Hemenway's analysis is glaring. Criminals will always have "free reign" for a period of time when a crime is being committed - at least if the intended victims are unarmed or otherwise unable to mount an effective defense. Police respond after the fact, when the criminal's carnage has either been done or been stopped. For example:

1. Sandy Hook Elementary School was a "gun free zone" where the teachers and staff were prevented by law from carrying concealed weapons. Once the shooter gained access to the school, police were notified. It took police twenty minutes to arrive, during which time the shooter killed 26 children and teachers.

2. In Texas, two men attempted a home invasion. Inside the home were a teen age boy and his young sister. The boy retrieved his father's AR15 and proceeded to shoot the criminals, protecting his life and the life of his sister. Police arrived in time to take the suspects to the hospital.

3. In Georgia, a home invasion ended when a woman, defending herself and her two small children, shot her assailant five times. Police arrived in time to take the suspect to the hospital.

4. In Texas, during the Luby Cafeteria Massacre that claimed the lives of 23 people, a diner at the cafeteria who had left her weapon in her car in order to comply with Texas gun control laws at the time, testified that she could easily have stopped the massacre had she had her weapon in her purse. Police response time was about 15 minutes.

5. In Connecticut, during a home invasion by two men, the husband, Dr. Petit, was beaten and put into the basement. There were no guns available to Petit or his family. Over the next seven plus hours, Dr. Petit's wife was strangled and their two daughters, one 11, the other 17, were tied to their beds and raped. Near the end of the ordeal, Dr. Petit was able to free himself and went to his neighbor's house to call the police. The police arrived, set up a perimeter, then stood in place for nearly half an hour, waiting for more back up. During that half hour, the criminals poured gasoline over the two daughters - both still alive - then set them on fire.

The lessons of the above anecdotes are blatantly clear. If you have a weapon, you can defend yourself, your family and others. If you are disarmed by law or choice, then you are wholly at the mercy of criminals. And as the above scenarios makes clear, while we may not live in a "Mad Max" country, there is nothing to keep "Mad Max" from visiting you or your loved ones. Dr. Hemenway has apparently been lucky in his life to date, but that has not been because he has any concept for the reality of crime, violence or self defense.

Related Posts:

- Boy Uses AR15 To Stop A Home Invasion

- Larry Correia's Brilliant Essay On Guns, Gun Control & Concealed Carry

- Thoughts On Gun Control From The Late Paul Harvey

- The Futility Of An Assault Weapons Ban As An Answer To Sandy Hook

- When Seconds Counted At Sandy Hook, Police Were Twenty Minutes Away

- St. Louis Police Chief Calls for Arming School Personnel

- John Fund essay on Mass Murders, Gun Control & Our Treatment of Mental Illness

- Luby Cafeteria Massacre, Testimony of Suzanna Hupp, Texas School District Authorizes Concealed Carry For Its Schools

- Reynolds On Gun Free Zones, The Left's Mistrust Of Armed Private Citizens, & Our Problematic Mental Health Laws

Linked at Larwyn's Linx, Nice Deb and the Watcher's Council. Thanks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As long as the elected want to have discussions about gun control, perhaps we can ask why the government is buying such huge quantities of ammunition for Depts, such as NOAA. SSA etc.